View Full Version : Anyone Watch "Deep Sea Detectives" about Susan B. Anthony?

Bill Lewis
06-08-2005, 6:43 AM
The show on the History Channel "Deep Sea Detectives" about the sinking of the Susan B. off the coast of Normandy aired recently. I "tivo'd" it and watched it yesturday afternoon after I got home from work.

In the show they mention the place I work, NSWC Carderock Division aka the David Taylor Model Basin. Here, they speak on camera with a couple of "experts", Fred Fisch being one, about whether it could have been one or two mines that sunk her. They also show a replay of an underwater explosion and the associated bubble pulses.

Now here's the rest of the story.

Fred's office was just down the hall from mine. Though I still see him from time to time, he's retired and working for a contractor. Probably why he was able to talk on camera without some special permission.

The shock and bubble pulse video replay was performed in our explosion test pond where we have the ability to record high speed video. This was a test that I conducted several (8 to 10?) years ago. Not bad video, we have much better now.

The ROV (remotely operated vehicle) deployment was conducted in 2000 and 2002. I was on the 2002 trip. Just three of us and a two man boat crew hired out from England. Two of us from carderock, and one guy from the Naval Historical office. During our 7 week trip We conducted many surveys both for D-Day wrecks, and The CSS Alabama off of Cherbourg. It was also when the sonar imaging was taken of the Susan B. Take a look at the included sonar image. The only really intact part of the ship is the bow. The ship has deteriorated significantly, as is what is happening to most of the wrecks. Especially the large ones. They are collapsing.

I got to live int he heart of Normandy in a very small fishing village, Grand Camp Maisy, that was the Ranger Rally point for the attack on Point-Du-Hoc. This was a most memorable experience, and I look foward to returning one day.

Dave Brandt
06-08-2005, 6:54 AM
Really cool Bill! I remember visiting your workplace when I was a kid (can't remember if it was scouts for school). What a neat place!! I was raised in Wheaton, MD so it was close by. Anyone else nearby should take a tour, it's fascinating! Dave

p.s. you didn't by chance go to Wheaton High, did you? 1965?

Bill Lewis
06-08-2005, 10:52 AM
No Dave, believe it or not I grew up even closer to this place. I went to Langley High School in McLean, my mother's house is just accross the river, about 4-5 miles driving distance. It was purely coincidental that I ended up working this close to "home".